April 1, 2016

Boko Haram insurgency cost North East $9bn – Report

Boko Haram insurgency cost North East $9bn – Report

One of the burnt school buildings in Maiduguri

The North East Nigeria Recovery and Peace Building Assessment (RPBA) team announced on Thursday that the impact of the conflict in the region cost $9 billion.

The team also said it would need $6 billion to perform recovery efforts in the crisis torn area.

The data, released at the two-day final validation and consensus workshop in Abuja, noted that the devastation happened between 2011 and 2015.

Presenting the report, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Dr Mariam Masha, said that Borno was worse hit by the crisis with a loss of $6 billion.

According to her, the region suffered damage worth $3 billion in housing alone while it suffered damages in terms of livestock which brought about the need to restore agriculture in the region.

The RPBA said Yobe and Adamawa states were next in devastation, adding that the devastation in other parts of the region is enormous but with less gravity.

She said no fewer than 20,000 lives were lost while 1.8 million people were displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency.

Masha said that the planned “interventions is going to be done over time based on resources that are available.

“And what this process brings home is that it also helps to create a platform to harmonise resources, to coordinate better, support and planning at the federal level, at the state level and support also from international donors and partners,’’ said the presidential aide.

She said that RPBA would try to generate the needed funds for the rehabilitation of the North East through partnership with donor groups.

“We have support from our partners, we have support from the donors and we also have the support from the government.

“It is not something that can be fixed in one day. It is not money that can be raised in one day but it is process that is ongoing.

“It is good that we see it as that and that is why it is important to prioritise what needs to be done immediately, what need to be done in a short to medium term, and this is what this is presenting to us,’’ she added.

The presidential aide said that the assessment was basically built on work that had been done both at the federal and at the state government levels.

She said it considered the data collected from the state governments, the ongoing initiatives at the federal government level “and what data is available from there and bringing this together to see what gaps exist in them and how to fill them’’.

In the report, the RPBA recommended a four-year strategic plan to restore the North East to progress and development.

The plan was divided into two equal phases of stabilisation and recovery, and would cover such areas as agriculture, housing, transportation and education over the four-year plan.

The representative of the European Union, Mr Juan Casla, said that the assessment was outcome of the protocol of the EU and UN to help countries in that kind of situation.

Said he: “From my experience in this type of interventions I have seen that the team has been able to put in place thorough assessment in a complex and challenging situation in the North East.

“Being able to analyse the data from this situation and coming out with a sound, precise and concise assessment that focus on the issues affecting the North East, and coming out with recommendations that are sound and offer the way forward for the different government agencies and the states to tackle these situations.’’

He said the EU was satisfied with the assessment.

“So, with the leadership that we have seen from the federal government and the different states and the international donor agencies we now have to discuss how to move forward,’’ Casla said.

The Borno Commissioner for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement, Dr Baba Umara, said that the quantum of damage done to the state by Boko Haram was alarming.

He said that the people had suffered very serious stress and strain in overcoming insurgency.

He said the World Bank, EU, UN and the Federal Government had made an assessment to find lasting solution to these problems which was commendable.

The commissioner, however, said that the validation workshop was with respect to the infrastructure, social and peace building as well as the recovery components.

“We are optimistic that at the end of this report something very good will come to the people of Borno, the entire North East region and Nigeria in general.’’

He said that Borno government would key in the stabilisation and recovery concurrently.

“We hope that by the end of the four-year term things would be okay.

“But when things are not okay the state government may need to look for another intervention or the World Bank, EU mission may decide to expand the scope of the work to another four-year period,’’ he added.